Ballroom Dance Club – swing to the beat

Steve Holdener

I love a song that has a nice swing beat. In SaddleBrooke we like to dance to both an East Coast Swing (ECS) and West Coast Swing (WCS). There is both commonality and differences between the two swing dances. They are both social partner dances and belong to the group of swing dances; however, ECS according to Wikipedia “is danced under fast swing music, including rock and roll and boogie-woogie.”

“Originally known as “Eastern Swing” by Arthur Murray Studios, the name East Coast Swing became more common between 1975 and 1980. The dance was created by dance studios including the Arthur Murray dance studios in the 1940s, based on the Lindy Hop. Lindy Hop was felt by dance studios to be both too difficult and too unstructured to teach to beginning dancers, but there was market demand for training in Swing Dance. The dance studios had initially dismissed Lindy Hop in particular as a fad. ECS Swing can be referred to by many different names in different regions of the United States and the world. It has alternatively been called Eastern Swing, Jitterbug, American Swing, East Coast Lindy, Lindy (not to be confused with Lindy Hop), and Triple Swing. Other variants of ECS Swing that use altered footwork forms are known as Single Swing and Double Swing. More on ECS next month.

Also just a quick note to relate my latest polka adventure. My wife and I were at the Swiss Park near Tacoma, Washington, on Saturday, August 9, 2014. She didn’t have her dancing shoes, but my daughter did. So we ventured out on the floor with about 50 other couples dancing the Washington polka. I’d forgotten what chaos and fun this could be with most of them twirling in the general line of dance counter-clockwise fashion around the dance floor; however, there were several young ones going perpendicular and clockwise at times to the rest of the dancers. It was more than once that I closed my eyes as I was nearing another twirling couple and hoping that we all didn’t crash and fall to the floor at once. Amazingly, I have survived to dance another day!

The Ballroom Dance Club is planning five separate dinner/dances for 2014/2015, starting with November 14 and December 27, 2014; then on to January 16, March 20 and April 11, 2015. The November 14 event is just around the corner and will be here before you know it, so please save the date for this event and all the others.

You are very welcome to join us and meet new and old friends and share in the joy of dancing at our first Tuesday gatherings at the SaddleBrooke Clubhouse as well as the weekly open dances/practices. You are invited to visit the new Facebook page that we share with Let’s Dance (just type Let’s Dance in the search box on Facebook). Please feel free to share your own favorite dance story or ballroom tune; you can write me at [email protected]